“This is an issue where politicians can reach across the aisle. You don’t have to be a bleeding heart liberal to feel good about renewable energy because it is more efficient and increasingly less expensive. ” ~ Amy Haddon, Vice President for Global Content and Cleantech Marketing for Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services.
Amy creates content to inform Schneider’s existing and potential clients on sustainability, renewable energy and other cleantech topics. But she also works with those clients to develop their own sustainability reports and communicate about their efforts. Many people have to focus on a very tight topic related to their own job. As a communicator and content creator, Amy gets to take a wide view across many areas of sustainability in multiple industries.
Focusing on consumer choices is not effective
We discussed the danger of focusing on the environmental impact of our personal consumer choices. That can lead to small changes but it can also result in guilt and frustration which doesn’t help anyone. It can lead people to focus their energy on smaller objectives where they have more control, like eliminating their use of plastic straws. But that does nothing to stop the larger problem of climate change.
Demanding action on climate change should be our focus
Climate change in particular should be the primary focus for any of us taking action on the environment, because ultimately if we don’t mitigate climate change the ramifications of those impacts will trump any other environmental problems that we might have. For the majority of us we don’t have a lot of choices around how we get our energy. We don’t have a lot of choices over our food systems. We don’t have a lot of choices over our transportation systems, so I think that making people feel guilty about their choices is a tactic that doesn’t ultimately work because we don’t understand the scale of the systems that we’re really working within and because ultimately and unfortunately, those small consumer choices that we can make, while important and certainly affirming in terms of at least we’re doing something, they’re a small drop in the overall bucket, whereas I think our activities, our energy, our resources, could and should be better spent to pull bigger levers, like politics and government regulations and other things that we really need to change those human systems and make the system itself more sustainable so that when we come to make a choice we can feel assured that the choice that we’re making, because it’s the choice that we have, is the right choice. ~ Amy Haddon